Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Woman records video of man reaching down her shirt on bus; receives no help from driver

April 11, 2017

A six-hour bus ride in Costa Rica quickly turned into a nightmare for a young woman Monday.

The woman, identified only by her Facebook name of Fabiola CH, was traveling from Guanacaste to San José when she recorded the man in the seat behind her reaching down her shirt for more than a minute.

After she apparently pretended to be asleep in order to catch him in the act, she was able to use her cell phone to document the disturbing confrontation that she then posted to social media. In a Facebook post she explained how the man touched her multiple times before she even decided to record what was happening.

¡Joven que viajaba en bus, denuncia que fue tocada por hombre.!Normalmente no suelo hacer este tipo de publicaciones, pero me siento muy indignada, ya que está mañana venía de Guanacaste hacía San José en un bus de la empresa Alfaro y el pasajero que venía detrás de mí intentó tocarme en varias ocasiones por lo cual decidí grabar un vídeo y enseñarselo a los que van cargo del bus, lo único que me dijeron que podía hacer era cambiarme de lugar, simplemente ni dormir tranquila en un viaje de seis horas se puede hacer, me parece increíble que uno se tenga que acostumbrar a este tipo de acoso y que ya sea algo tan común que nadie hace nada, les pido que si alguien llega a reconocer a esta persona me ayude para poder presentar una demanda, gracias.

Posted by Calles Guanacaste on Monday, April 10, 2017

“Normally I’m not used to making these types of posts but I feel really upset, because this morning I was coming from Guanacaste to San José on an Empresa Alfaro bus and the passenger behind me tried to touch me on multiple occasions,” the woman identified as Fabiola says in the post. “I decided to record a video and show it to those in charge of the bus, but the only thing they told me I could do was change my seat.”

Multiple attempts by The Tico Times to speak with representatives from Empresa Alfaro bus company went unanswered Tuesday morning. The bus company takes riders between multiple points in the Guanacaste province and Costa Rica’s capital, San José.

“I couldn’t sleep calmly on a six-hour bus ride,” the post continued. “It seems incredible to me that you have to become accustomed to this type of harassment and that it’s now something so common that no one does anything about it. I ask that if any one comes to recognize the person that they help me so that I can present a complaint.”

In the video above, courtesy of the Calles Liberia Facebook page, she managed to film the man’s face, which is partially blocked by sunglasses and a white hoodie.

(Screenshot from Calles Liberia/Facebook video)
(Screenshot from Calles Liberia/Facebook video)

 

Last August, the Costa Rican government launched an ad campaign to address this specific form of sexual harassment that happens in public environments like buses. According to a 2016 University of Costa Rica report cited by the campaign team at the time, six out of every 10 women in the country say they have been the victims of sexual harassment in public.

What’s most interesting about the campaign and how it relates to Monday’s disturbing case is that it promised bus drivers would be trained to act accordingly when a female victim complains about harassment.

Common cases of sexual harassment here involve catcalling, vulgar gesturing, and even groping or indecent exposure. These types of crimes happen so often on public buses that campaign coordinators and government officials have urged bus operators to provide better aid for victims.

In a notable win for sexual harassment advocates earlier this year, a 62-year-old man was given three years and eight months of jail time for a January incident on a San José bus in which he touched a woman’s rear end twice with his genitals.

Four days after the sentencing, another man was arrested for taking out his genitals and rubbing them against a woman on a public bus.

You may be interested

Costa Rica approves law punishing street sexual harassment with jail and fines
Costa Rica
5805 views
Costa Rica
5805 views

Costa Rica approves law punishing street sexual harassment with jail and fines

AFP and The Tico Times - July 14, 2020

Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly on Tuesday passed a law that criminalizes street sexual harassment and punishes it with prison terms…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for July 14, 2020
Costa Rica
21358 views
Costa Rica
21358 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for July 14, 2020

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 14, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 446 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 8,482 cumulative known cases, the Health…

Panama hospitals on verge of collapse as virus cases surge
Latin America
1221 views
Latin America
1221 views

Panama hospitals on verge of collapse as virus cases surge

Juan José Rodríguez / AFP - July 14, 2020

Hospitals in Panama are on the brink of collapse as coronavirus cases spike in the Central American country worst hit…